Real life MMD: Should we tell relatives "we're not a free hotel"?

edited 1 May 2012 at 6:16PM in Money Saving Polls
87 replies 20.3K views


    14.8K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper
    I lived in the Channel Islands for 25 years and moved here to the south coast of England 21 years ago.
    We have always had loads of people coming to stay with us but now that I am old I have had enough of it.
    My wife still wants them to come so I will have to put up with it for a bit longer.
    I refuse to go out with them all the time.
    My advice is that if you live somewhere not very nice -stay there- and then no one will ever come near you.

    Or move and just do not tell them;)!!!!
  • Hi, actually what I'd do is just say, sorry, it's not convenient to visit right now. I don't think it's fair that relatives should use you for a free holiday - so why put yourself in the situation where you have to grin and bear it?
  • pennypinchUKpennypinchUK Forumite
    383 Posts
    I too live in a tourist area and am fortunate that friends want to come and stay. Yes, sometimes it's chaos, and occasionally people stay too long. But they're friends, and any issues can be swiftly dealt with by talking to them.

    The clear upside is that now I've got them to understand I'm working (from home) when they're here we have a great understanding with all of them that they can come and go during the day and I'll catch up with them in the evening. On that basis they're more than happy to cook and share a meal in the evening.

    My biggest problem is that I naturally want to join them for their obligatory cream tea (I'm in the West Country) and clearly I have to join them for pre-dinner drinks and wine. And as they're on holiday they want a stonking 3-course meal every night, so I have to join them for dessert. Well, it would be rude if I didn't....

    Be thankful you have friends who want to come and see you. And enjoy their friendship and company.
  • MojisolaMojisola Forumite
    34.5K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper
    Be thankful you have friends who want to come and see you. And enjoy their friendship and company.
    MSE_Debs wrote: »
    [/FONT]We live by the beach, so at this time of year relatives visit. Although we like to see them for a couple of days, we have a succession of visitors who stay for 1-2 weeks and do nothing because they're on holiday, while we run around for them as though we were a hotel. This is a free stay, but costs us a lot of money.

    It sounds as if penny's friends are more empathetic than the OP's family.

    I would rather not have visitors than have ones that treated my house like a free hotel!
  • pennypinchUKpennypinchUK Forumite
    383 Posts
    Looking at other people's responses, I am simply stunned by the number of people who have suggested lying that you're going to be away, or come up with convoluted excuses, or suggested sending a letter, or gone round the houses in some other way....

    Why don't you simply talk to your friends/family? If you're worried about talking to them to express your concerns they're not good friends.

    It really is so simple. Why complicate life?
  • silverswansilverswan Forumite
    34 Posts
    Maybe Debs' relatives are members of this site and are, at this moment, composing a letter along the lines of 'we have great holidays every year at my relative Debs. All meals included and ferried around everywhere and for 2 weeks it costs us absolutely nothing. Now that's what I call being a money saving expert!'
  • milvusvestalmilvusvestal Forumite
    104 Posts
    On the assumption that these friends and relatives give warning of their impending visits and don't simply turn up on your doorstep unannounced, might I suggest that, when they telephone or write, you tell those who are taking advantage of your generosity that you are planning to be away round about the time they want to stay.

    No need to be specific about dates, otherwise they'll slot themselves into weeks either side; just be as vague as you can, telling these people you haven't firmed up your own arrangements yet, and are unlikely to do so until the last moment. It doesn't matter then if they do happen to call on you any time, as you can offer any kind of excuse to explain why you're still at home - eg, bookings were advanced/retarded, something cropped up, weren't feeling too good.

    If you DO have to suffer their presence, then get in only the food that you, and only you, need. In other words, carry on as if they're not there at all. They'll soon get the message when the refrigerator is empty. If they can't take a subtle hint like that, then your only recourse is to ask them outright for money to pay for their keep. After all, that's what real friends would do, though obviously you can't choose your relatives.
  • Mrs_ArcanumMrs_Arcanum Forumite
    24K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    Next time anyone rings up to visit just say "brilliant, you can help us with the decorating & cleaning ready for the paying customers".
    Truth always poses doubts & questions. Only lies are 100% believable, because they don't need to justify reality. - Carlos Ruiz Zafon, The Labyrinth of the Spirits
  • *Nutella**Nutella* Forumite
    2.4K Posts
    I'd be tempted to suggest to prospective visitors that they come for a couple of days rather than 1-2 weeks - you could always make up an excuse like previous posters have suggested. If they still insist on staying for a week or two, explain that you're experiencing a never-ending stream of visitors, which gets expensive as well as exhausting. If they're real friends they should understand this - and might even offer to contribute towards the cost of their stay. Good luck!
  • We have friends who live in France, they love us to go but also advise they will ask for 50 euros per couple for the week. Not unreasonable as they will then shop for food & beer for the week. This ensures no food is wasted, any thing else we want to offer up is not refused, such as treats or more alcohol. They also tell us where the kettle is!!! We do this when people visit us, friends then feel comfortable helping themselves & we aren't chasing our tales as skivvys.
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